Crowdfunding upstarts turn to public for investing in Brooklyn

One Brooklyn Bridge Park
One Brooklyn Bridge Park

A real estate crowdfunding startup wants to help New York developers attract more small investors and is already a partner on a project near Brooklyn Bridge Park, the New York Times reported.

The founders of Washington, D.C.-based Fundrise want Big Apple real estate companies to use their website to finance community-scale projects in the $500,000 to $1 million range. Daniel and Benjamin Miller of Fundrise partnered with Glauco Lolli-Ghetti of the New York developer Urban Muse to bid for rights to Develop The John Street parcel on the northern edge of the park project in Brooklyn Heights, the Times said.

The development site would feature up to 130 residential units and a ground-floor retail in a 120,000-square-foot building, Lolli-Ghetti told the Times. Urban Muse would allow New Yorkers to invest up to $1 million in the retail component.

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The Millers have also been talking to Jason Goodman of Third Ward, the co-working space in Bushwick that is building a 30,000-square-foot commercial kitchen and incubator in Crown Heights. Goodman told the Times that owning the building through usual lending would require putting 50 percent down in cash, or a sizable $7.5 million.

Buying it with the contributions of small investors is “something we’ve started to explore again,” Goodman told the newspaper. [NYT]Mark Maurer